Want to keep learning?

This content is taken from the Coventry University's online course, Wellbeing at Work: An Introduction. Join the course to learn more.

Situational factors and wellbeing (ctd)

In the previous step, we started to look at some of the main situational factors associated with work and wellbeing and in this step, we continue to do so.

5. Control

The amount of control a person feels they have over their work can have a big impact on levels of wellbeing. While there are a number of elements where control is important for an individual, there are some that have been found to be particularly so, including control over the quality and pace of work, control over decision making and methods used to do the job, control over personal leave (holiday or personal appointments), and control over the amount of influence they exert in terms of policies and procedures.

6. Job support and resources


If a person is to do their job well, they need a certain amount of support at work. Donaldson-Feilder et al. (2008) argue that a manager’s behaviour is important for employee wellbeing on a number of levels.

Firstly, it can have a direct impact on staff, becoming the source of their stress or wellbeing. Secondly, managers can act as gatekeepers, influencing the amount of stress that employees are exposed to. Finally, managers can play an important role in identifying employee stress, as well as implementing strategies to deal with it.

Peer support

Peers can also be a source of stress or wellbeing at work. Stress from co-workers can occur for a number of reasons, including competition and differences in personality types.


These are the aspects of a job that allow an individual to carry out their work successfully and consist of training, equipment and any other resources necessary to do the job. They also refer to the cognitive resources, knowledge, skills and attitudes.

7. Job role

There are a number of factors relating to an individual’s job role that can cause conflict:

Role ambiguity

This can occur when an employee’s work responsibilities, degree of authority and co-workers’ expectations are not clear. This happens when the job has not been correctly clarified to the worker and can affect productivity as well as wellbeing.

Role conflict

This can occur when there are conflicting job demands on the employee, when the employee is expected to carry out duties that they do not agree with, or when the employee does not want to do certain things contained in the job.


Responsibility can be for other people; a manager is responsible to some extent for their workers and will be required to spend time with them - or it can be for things; a buying manager is responsible for ordering a shops stock, which without, the shop cannot trade.

8. Organisational change

This can have a big impact on employee wellbeing and is an increasing occurrence in many organisations.

As the market place becomes more competitive, organisations are becoming flatter, which means fewer managers and more emphasis on the employee to be responsible for more aspects of their job.

In addition, many organisations are cutting the number of staff they have, while the workloads remain the same, or in some cases bigger. The result of which is longer hours for the same pay.

Your task

Think of Mary Lucas in the introductory video. What situational factors might be having an effect on her wellbeing?

Post your thoughts in the comments and ‘like’ or reply to posts you find useful or interesting.


Arnold, J., Randall, R. (2016) Work Psychology: Understanding Human Behaviour in the Workplace [online] Harlow, England: Pearson. available from https://locate.coventry.ac.uk/primo-explore/fulldisplay?docid=COV_ALMA2183136280002011&context=L&vid=COV_VU1&search_scope=LSCOP_COV&isFrbr=true&tab=local&lang=en_US [10th May 2019]

Donaldson-Feilder, E., Yarker, J., Lewis, R. (2008) ‘Line Management Competence: The Key to Preventing and Reducing Stress at Work’. Strategic HR Review [online] 7 (2), 11–16. available from https://locate.coventry.ac.uk/primo-explore/fulldisplay?docid=TN_proquest35986400&context=PC&vid=COV_VU1&search_scope=Primo_Central&tab=remote&lang=en_US [10th May 2019]

Share this article:

This article is from the free online course:

Wellbeing at Work: An Introduction

Coventry University